The obstacles and challenges when moving abroad are numerous. Fortunately, with the bad comes the good – and the positives of moving usually outweigh the negatives.
Living and travelling to a new country can be very difficult, even more so when you are on your own.
The purpose of this short blog is to highlight some of the main challenges while providing some tips which may come in handy!
You Will Feel Like A Stranger
At the start you will experience certain situations where you ask yourself ‘What am I doing here ?’ You may feel disconnected, depressed and lonely. This usually happens at the start and it’s important to overcome this stage.
No matter how comfortable people make you feel when you are around them, you will still get a deep feeling of not belonging there. The good news this step is short lived and it’s very good for character as you become more self supporting.
Pro tip: Use it as an opportunity to learn the language. It’s almost always the language barrier which can make someone feel this way. Once you get talking you’ll realise how much more you want to learn.
When you’ve lived your life in one place surrounded by your creature comforts and your loved ones it causes dependency. When all of this disappears overnight you risk becoming homesick.
From personal experience I used to spend the first few weeks skyping my friends and family on a daily basis just to feel comfortable and to feel like I’m home again. In doing so I did the one thing I wasn’t supposed to do ; staying in my comfort zone.
Pro tip: Join Facebook groups and find people who come from the same country as you do and do the same things you do. This will leave you with a sense of familiarity which should help combat any feelings of depression and homesickness.
You Lose Yourself
When you move abroad to a country where you know absolutely no one and no one knows you, there is a risk where you might lose yourself. You are a free person with nothing holding you back or advising you against dangerous habits.
This is a very underrated topic, A couple of friends of mine who moved abroad came back, lost their identity and themselves because they abused alcohol and drugs over the course of a year or two.
Pro tip: Join sports clubs/movie clubs/book clubs to make new friends and long lasting relationship while exercising your mind and body. Of course when you move to a new country we all want to party hard but it’s important to have balance and a strong sense of discipline.
You Lose Your Identity
When you start settling into a new country you’ll soon realise that you begin to do things you normally would not do, you start going places you normally wouldn’t. At this point you might take a step back and look at yourself. It’s at that moment you will understand that living abroad has changed who you are.
This isn’t really a challenge but it’s something that hits deep and hard on a psychological level.
Pro tip: Embrace it, this is you now. It is important to be able to accept that things have changed and that you have changed.
In conclusion, for me the biggest challenges when moving to a new country are mostly mental. It’s imperative that you go out there with a positive outlook and when you do so everything will seem rosy and exciting.
If you go with a negative mindset there’s every chance you might end up hating yourself. So it’s highly important to make sure you want to do this and when you do you will see just how much the benefits overpower the disadvantages.